Born in 1891 of Welsh-Irish parents, Margaret Morris was only a few weeks old when the family moved to France. A child prodigy, she danced at society concerts and in court drawing rooms where she was spotted by Sarah Bernhardt who offered to train her in Paris. Morris resented the formality of classical ballet training and from the age of twelve began to develop her own system of exercises based on the Greek positions depicted on ancient artifacts. In 1910 she founded the Margaret Morris Movement School, and soon established bases in London, Paris, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
It was during a visit to Paris in 1913 that she met her future husband, John Duncan Fergusson. Together they made regular visits to the Cap d'Antibes in the South of France over the years.